Saturday, November 3, 2007

How do you start anything?

I've always had trouble starting something big. Always. I have trouble getting my arms around it, trouble scoping out the steps, and most of time I leave it to the last minute. Then I'm left with the inevitable regret of wishing I'd been more organized or patient in the planning process. I have trouble with long-term thinking; I can see point "A" and point "Z" but have trouble imagining the alphabet in between.

Writing is a perfect example.

I've thought about writing for, not surprisingly, a long time. "Write, Monica", people tell me, "You should really write". And then I think "Yeah, I'll write... but about what?" I get spooked thinking about this big thing - WRITING - and feel this need to come to the blank sheet with all these ideas waiting to be transcribed. It's not really writer's block. It's more accurately "How do I begin?"

It seems my best writing is about running. But how many times can I write about a marathon or a race? Maybe - just perhaps - my best writing can come out of running. Maybe it's inevitable that as I let my legs run free, my mind follows. I think of all kinds of stuff when I run, I work out problems, run off anxiety and anger, burn off the excess negative energy. It's random and I just think. A Lot. So during today's run, an idea filtered through the endorphin-fueled jumble: Start a blog, and write about what I think about on my runs.

What should I name this blog? What shape should it take? Certainly, not just about running; that would be pretty myopic and boring. I thought about an article I had just read in Sports Illustrated about Alberto Salazar - the American marathoning legend from the early 80's - battling back from a heart attack. And the author wrote "Marathoning isn't life, as Alberto Salazar once believed. rather, life is a marathon..." The marathon as a metaphor for life is cliche and overplayed. I find the notion of the marathon of life a bit more compelling. You have to pace yourself through a day in this life much like you do a race, but how do you measure the pace of life? In a race, pace is minutes per mile (or minutes per kilometer), but how does that translate to life? Is it hours worked, errands run, loads of laundry folded, noses wiped, tears dried, hugs given and received? I don't know the answer, I don't think there is one single answer. But its neat idea to noodle over.

I'm standing at point A and am making my way point Z. And I'll figure out that alphabet along the way.

Lao-tsu said "Even the longest journey must begin where you stand." The warm-up is over. Runners take your mark...


Kati said...

Monica - as soon as I saw your signature with a blog, I clicked to see! You are a gifted writer and this blog is one I will visit again.

Cheers! To new beginings.

GB said...

You are so cool Monica! Can't wait to read your blog regularly.

Love ya!

RunningProf said...

Monica, I too have pondered many times about starting such a blog, but you! YOU have actually taken the giant step to do so !

I look forward to seeing your comments here, who knows, you'll probably be my inspiration to do the same some day!


Gregory said...

As one who has saved and printed out your Boston Marathon RR for how beautifully written it was (not to mention how well you did in the race!) doubt this blog will follow in its footsteps. Glad to stop by and will definitely visit again!

Kind regards,

Pudov (Gregory)

Betsy said...

Monica, I feel like I just read something out of a magazine. Your words spoke for the entire running community. You are right, Ryan Shay was "one of us," a runner, and as runners we feel the loss even more. Your writing is an inspiration in itself!


Miss Daisy said...

It was only a matter of time - I'm so glad you decided to put your musings down in cyber space for everyone to enjoy. I'm one of the lucky ones because these very ramblings have challenged me to run distances I never thought I'd achieve. What will I do without you this Saturday!!! Not really worried - you'll be with me the whole way. Thank you for your gift of inspiration.

Miss Daisy